Is a BIG DATA always a GOOD DATA or is it sometimes a MESS?

Goda, September 29.

dataAs it was discussed in the previous chapters, the big data has a potential to do many things and add value to major areas of our lives. So almost everyone is heavily involved in the big data. Moreover, one of the important aspects, reshaping the world today, is the worldwide accessibility to the Internet which has become incredibly broad. Internet live stats shows that approx. 40% of the entire population has an internet connection today. In 1995, it was less than 1%. The number of internet users has amazingly increased from 1999 to 2013.  The first billion was reached in 2005, the second billion in 2010, the third one in 2014 (Internetlivestats.com, 2017). While big data is concerned with all kinds of sources, it is estimated that the majority of it comes from unstructured sources and social media constitutes perhaps the biggest source of unstructured sources for big data including blogs, forums, social networking platforms, gaming and many other networks (The Statistics Portal, 2017).

Social media has become a key element in every society and culture, encouraging individuals to gather together on common interests and share opinions through the Internet. This has prompted the development of new big data approaches to capture, process and analyse large and complex data. New statistical methods and tools can process and examine such big data effectively at such a scale and speed that would have been unimaginable just a few years ago (Spratt & Baker, 2016).

However, to have lots of data doesn’t mean to have a good data. Surprisingly, the biggest long-term challenge of implementing and integrating big data isn’t technology – it is data governance and management or proper data collection and analysis (Read, Taithe & Mac Ginty, 2016).

When talking about data governance and management many articles concentrate on businesses to gain insights through analysis, to understand consumers’ behaviors by targeting products and services more effectively. Nevertheless, it has the same impact in politics too in terms of improving government decision-making and informing about their activities.

WHY? Because the DATA is the main element, not a technology, and implementation of the data into the whole picture is very important. Therefore, if the big data quality is POOR and INCORRECTLY analysed, proper integration of a big data can become one of the major problems.

EXAMPLE:

Nowadays, almost anyone can easily access public information from social media platforms such as Facebook or Twitter. Access to large amounts of data on millions of peoples’ activities and behaviors is an exceptionally good resource for every organisation by describing potential customer’s profile from the way how individuals naturally communicate online.

Therefore, recently there has been a lot of complaints due to the subjectivity in data because it was being used as a manipulation strategy by governments. Governments have faster, simpler methods to access the data. A large amount of articles talks about the company Cambridge Analytica which helped to manipulate both the US election and the EU referendum by using social networking platforms data in terms of how people show their opinions and preferences in social media and in terms of creating fake online profiles to give an impression that many  individuals support their certain political position (www.parliament.uk, 2017).

The  REASON of these problems is that governments can access data more accurately and quickly and by adjusting their power relations (Read, Taithe & Mac Ginty, 2016). Moreover, there are some discussions that social media data may not include vulnerable groups such as the elderly or groups with lower salaries. Therefore, there are big gaps in the data and there are no procedures yet for controlling these gaps.

Taking everything into consideration, you don’t necessarily need to examine a lot of data to get an accurate result, you just need to be sure you are analysing the RIGHT DATA. You should seek out new and diverse sources that can give you a well-rounded overview of the subject. Therefore, before making important decisions it is important to consider thoroughly all the information we have available, to reach a fair and just judgement.

Tags: , ,

1 comment

  1. Very well articulated, I like your style 🙂